Lenin’s Komsomol TheatreRussian: Moskovskiy teatr imeni Leninskogo komsomola or Московский театр имени Ленинского комсомола on Malaya DmitrovkaRussian: Малая Дмитровка Street (or just ‘LenkomRussian: Ленком’, as official documents have referred to it since 1990) is one of the best theatres in the country. This stage has been home to each and every theatre and cinema star of Moscow, including: Aleksandr Abdulov, Mikhail Kozakov, Rostislav Plyatt, Oleg Yankovsky and lots of others. Director Mark Zakharov maintains the status of “Lenkom” as one of the leading theatres in Moscow.
The first steps
The history of this theatre goes back to 1927, when the first Soviet professional Theatre of Young WorkersRussian: Teatr rabochey molodezhi or Театр рабочей молодежи (abbreviated as TRAMRussian: ТРАМ) was founded through the efforts of the Moscow Komsomola political youth organization in the Soviet Union organisation. Prominent masters from the Moscow Art TheatreRussian: Moskovskiy khudozhestvennyi akademicheskiy teatr or Московский художественный академический театр came to work at the TRAM, passing their experience on to future generations. Since 1933, the Theatre has remained at the same address – an Art Nouveau building belonging to the former Merchant ClubRussian: Kupecheskiy Klub or Купеческий Клуб, a true house of arts located at 6 Malaya Dmitrovka Street, which was occupied during the early Soviet years by the famous movie theatre called ‘Kino Malaya DmitrovkaRussian: Кино Малая Дмитровка, 6’. Lenkom reached its prime at the same time as Ivan Bersenev was appointed its artistic director; around this time, it changed its name from the Theatre of Young Workers to the Lenin Komsomol Theater. It was under Bersenev’s leadership that Mikhail Bulgakov became its literary director, Isaac Dunayevskya Soviet film composer and conductor of the 1930s and 1940s, who achieved huge success in music for operetta and film comedies wrote music for the productions, Irina Hold (Vsevolod Meyerholda Russian and Soviet theatre director, actor and theatrical producer‘s daughter) was responsible for choreography, and stage designs were developed by the famous Kukryniksy trio of graphic artists as well as Yevgeny Kibrik. During the 1940s, the stage adaptation of Konstantin Simonova Soviet author and a war poet’s So It Will BeRussian: Tak i budet or Так и будет starred the one-of-a-kind Valentina Serova, and the Theatre’s repertoire consisted both of modern plays and the classics – from Ostrovsky to Ibsen.
Lenkom’s new history
An important chapter in the history of the Lenkom began when it was taken over by Anatoly Efrosone of the most distinguished Soviet theatre directors, who in 1963 brought with him a team of young actors that would remain at the core of this Theatre for years to come. Valentin Gaft, Lev Durov, Olga Yakovleva, Mikhail Derzhavin and Aleksandr Zbruev starred in the productions of Mikhail Bulgakov’s MolièreRussian: Мольер and of My Poor MaratRussian: Moy bednyi Marat or Мой бедный Марат (by then-popular playwright Aleksei Arbuzov); these productions were widely lauded by the public. Despite all the recognition from the audience, three years later, Efros was removed from his post on ideological grounds. A few more years passed and in 1973, the Theater found its new and this time permanent director – Mark Zakharov. From that day forward, for over forty years the Lenkom has ranked among the most popular theatres in Russia.
Professional success came to the Lenkom as the result of hard work of everyone in the team; Mark Zakharov managed to surround himself with people sharing the same ideas, obtained the collaboration of the best poets, composers and stage designers, and invited talented artists from other theaters to come and work at Lenkom. Lenkom’s new history started with a number of productions that would remain iconic for years to come. For example, the rock opera The Juno and the AvosRussian: Юнона и Авось, set to the music of Aleksey Rybnikov and the verses of Andrei Voznesenskyone of the #Children of the '60s,# a new wave of iconic Russian intellectuals with Nikolai Karachentsov, Aleksandr Abdulov and Elena Shanina in the lead roles, is the longest-running show in Russia – it’s still on at the Lenkom, only now it is performed by a new cast with Dmitry Pevtsov as Count Rezanov. The rock opera The Star and Death of Joaquin MurrietaRussian: Zvezda i smert Khoakina Muriety or Звезда и смерть Хоакина Мурьеты by Alexey Rybnikov and Pavel Glushko, which used to be performed as widely as Walpurgis NightRussian: Valpurgiyeva noch or Вальпургиева ночь (based on literary works by Venedikt Erofeeva Russian writer and Soviet dissident) is performed today and is especially favoured by young actors. In his current creative endeavours, Mark Zakharov continues to maintain Lenkom’s status as the leading dramatic theatre in Russia.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com